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U.S. government announces L2C, a stronger GPS signal

GPS signals just got stronger. The U.S. government has announced an upgrade to GPS technology, which they call L2C. The new signal has increased power output, meaning that it will be stronger in cities, indoors and other areas where current signals are difficult to receive.

The technology comes as expected with the latest launch of the GPS IIR-14 back in September of last year. More accurate readings, less power from devices, means more flexibility in applications like mobile phones and other devices.

The L2C signal is now available, but users will not be able to access it before they update their chips and devices. The new signal was designed specifically for commercial users. There has been some urgency in improving the U.S. controlled GPS system before Europe has their new satellite based navigation system, Galileo, ready. The first Galileo signals were transmitted earlier in January.

Several corporate heavyweights including Lucent, IBM and Lockheed Martin were on hand for the governments’ announcement of the new signal.

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